|BC458||Celebrating 150 Years of the London Underground, unsigned (not carried)||£25.00||Limited Availability|
|BC458C||Celebrating 150 Years of the London Underground, carried on an anniversary train, unsigned||£25.00||Buy Now|
|BC458CS||Celebrating 150 Years of the London Undergroun, carried on an anniversary train, signed Geoff Phelps||£35.00||Buy Now|
|BC458S||Celebrating 150 Years of the London Underground, signed by Christian Wolmar (not carried)||£35.00||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 09/01/2013
Issue Name: Celebrating 150 Years of the London Undergroud
Producer: Buckingham Covers
On the 10th January 1863 the world's first underground train ran between Paddington and Farringdon on the Metropolitan railway. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground we have produced this stunning cover. It features 6 London Undeground stamps charting the history of the network along with a Paddington, London W2 postmark, and is available signed by Christian Wolmar or Geoffrey Phelps.
The London Underground - A Short History
In 1855 an Act of Parliament was passed approving the construction of an underground railway between Paddington Station and Farringdon Street via King's Cross which was to be called the Metropolitan Railway. The Great Western Railway gave financial backing to the project when it was agreed that a junction would be built linking the underground railway with its mainline terminus at Paddington. The GWR also agreed to design special trains for the new subterranean railway.
Lack of money delayed construction for several years. Charles Pearson, Solicitor to the City of London Corporation at the time, wanted to replace the slums with new housing in the suburbs. The new railway would provide transport to work in the city centre. Although he was never directly involved in the running of the Metropolitan Railway, Pearson is widely regarded as one of the earliest visionaries for underground railways. In 1859, Pearson persuaded the City of London Corporation to help fund the scheme. Work finally began in February 1860, under the guidance of chief engineer John Fowler. Pearson died before the work was completed.
The Metropolitan Railway first ran on 9th January 1863 and opened to the public a day later on 10 January. Within a few months it was carrying over 26,000 passengers a day. The Hammersmith and City Railway opened on 13 June 1864 between Hammersmith and Paddington.
The early underground was a huge engineering achievement and very well used, but had one big disadvantage. Its steam locomotives created a permanent sulphurous fug in the stations and tunnels. The only surviving steam engine from the 1860s, Metropolitan number 23, is on display in the London Transport Museum.
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